Winds of Change

Over the last nine months, many aspects of industry development have been blown about thanks to the volatility that (so far) seems to sum up 2020.

It’s not hard to describe the “change” brought about by extreme events, something you can feel as well as see—when likened to weather, market flux is similar to the remarkable instability that results from cold and warm air engrossed in a colossal struggle for balance.

Our intention with this year’s “Sensor Integration Spotlight” remains addressing where and how successful innovation is occurring, especially at the point of integration. As we shared last year, more than 100 firms are currently developing close to 50 flavors of next-gen lidar solutions.

This year, downward pressure on sensor price in advance of mass adoption (of lidar) has led to storm clouds for start-ups lacking established sales channels. Automotive remains the main growth driver but increased price pressure coupled with a transportation industry recoiling from covid-19 has only served to complicate matters. Firms with fragile margins and/or unproven means are likely to struggle.

Doubling down, industry bellwethers Velodyne and Luminar have recently “gone public” via the ever-clever “reverse merger”, ensuring unfettered access to liquidity—read more about Velodyne’s developments on page 14. Somewhere, Gordon Gekko is gazing out a penthouse window, pondering the efficiencies yet to come!

For this issue, we’ve gone to the front lines again, peering into the crystal ball with the world-class teams at Schott, Intel, nimble start-ups such as Cepton, iinside and of course, Velodyne. Look to the website for additional interviews with firms such as Quanergy, Insight, DeepRoute and more. In addition to this year’s magazine previews, we’ve added a simple research component to our website called the “LIDAR Directory”, highlighting the wares and contact details of those on the bleeding edge.

Last but not least, our friends at Yole have released an updated guide with heavily pored over estimations of market growth between now and 20251. See page 4 for details.

1 Lidar for Automotive and Industrial Applications report, bit.ly/Yole-Report-2020

About the Author

Allen E. Cheves

Allen is the publisher and co-founder of LIDAR Magazine. As president and publisher of Spatial Media LLC, he also produces The American Surveyor Magazine and GISuser.com. Since founding Spatial Media in 2003, Allen has steadfastly promoted GeoTechnology as a premier career choice and solution to many 21st-century problems. More articles...